Strategically Create the Life and Work Worthy of your Talents, Giftings, Education and Experience
Take A Behavioral Style Profile to learn your strengths and weaknesses. Contact me for more information.
Take a Strengths Finder to compliment the Personality Profile
Interview your parents, assuming you have a good relationship with them, and ask them what they saw in you as a child, i.e., the strengths they perceived in you that would translate into a career, or other direction for your life
Ask 5 friends what they see you’re good at and one thing they see you might work on for greater success
Deal with any and all childhood issues that could be showing up as blind-spots, limitations or weaknesses. This is KEY to your progress. Ask me for more information if this intrigues you, as I have a workshop that could get you started, and would gladly tell you about my experience with it
Learn to use the 24 hr. Rule, to get over a crisis, disappointment, or a “win”, and keep yourself moving forward. (I’ve written on this in past posts, and will write on it again this week.)
Begin a “Gratefulness Journal” and write every day of at least 5 things you are most grateful/thankful for.
Take a class on “Time Management”, creating systems for every area of your life and work
Create your own personal “Mission Statement” and choose 5 to 8 values by which to base, and use as a plumb-line, all the major decisions you make life
Once a year go on a week or month long “Negativity Fast” where you allow family and friends to fine you if you say anything negative about yourself, others, or circumstances. You’ll be amazed at how cleansing this is! Take it up a notch and add not listening to any negativity as well!
Determine from now on to make decisions based on living out your values and Mission Statement.
Find a mentor. Look for 2 people you admire in different aspects of their life, and then ask them if they would consider mentoring you.
Create some form of self imposed accountability for yourself.
Learn to be a better communicator, especially in the area of listening. Most leaders get into trouble more by not listening than by talking.
Stay tune for the rest of the list of 20things, and how to get some help accomplishing these in the next post!
You may be trying to operate your own business, but it just doesn’t seem to be working. You know something’s wrong, but you don’t know what. What I’ve written in this post expands on the post in pt I of this series, and will help you discern if you’re out of position. Meaning you’re in the wrong role for what naturally fits you. (Now I’m all for temporarily doing this to gain great perspective, and acquire new skills. However, stay in the wrong roll too long, and it’s called STRESS!) Don’t lose hope though, I run into entrepreneurs all the time who struggle with this very issue, and yet gained the necessary assistance and are now highly successful. One way, is to create a culture of accountability, and then to plug into it. There are ways you can make a position that doesn’t fit you, still work! But first you have to recognize the cold hard facts, be brutally honest with yourself. Then you can create an action plan that works, and fits you. So, if you’re ready to discern your situation, let me ask you if any of the below scenarios and/or feelings sound like you?
You have employees to supervise, but you loathe, no you despise confrontation and avoid it at all cost!
You prefer instead, to allow things to work out on their own.
How’s that working for you? Things won’t work out on their own-they usually escalate and get worse.
In fact, you know you’ve got someone out of position, when a company-wide policy is made for everyone, instead of correcting to the one person abusing the system.
You’d rather fix things, and work around the facility, than deal with people, avoiding them until absolutely necessary.
You don’t have a natural sense of what to do to motivate, lead, and redirect those in your charge. Worse yet, you’ve never been given any formal training on how to be a successful leader – manager. If this is the case, please HEAR ME. This was not your fault! Let me say that again, “You are not to blame for being in this position!” However, that said, you have no excuse to not take the responsibility to obtain the tools and skills necessary to successfully influence and lead, even if you only have two employees! In fact, every personality style can be an effective, successful leader, by using their personality style appropriately, along with maximizing their strengths, while delegating or eliminating their weaknesses! In fact, what some would consider natural leaders, can be the very worst leaders, leading like a bull in a china shop! I liken this to a strong willed horse that’s never been broken. They’ve never learned to bring their strengths “Under Control” to best utilize them. Luckily, we live in a day and age where resources on this topic are in abundance! GREAT materials, books, DVD’s, mp3′s, and podcasts on the subject are prolific, especially at our public library. In fact, go to my LinkedIn profile and you can see my reading list filled with some of the best in leadership.
Stay tuned. In part III of this leadership series, you’ll find how and when it’s time to move on, or step down from the frustration of trying to be something you have never enjoyed, and have never felt successful doing! You will also discover how to best adapt your style to be the best leader/manager you can be, and how and why a Business Development Coach or Executive Coach can be your best resource to assist you and your organization in establishing successful leaders and managers of every behavioral style.
Did someone wave a wand and say: “POOF”, thou art a manager –NOW LEAD!
Are you, or someone you know, in the wrong role/position in your company? Did someone wave a wand and say: “POOF”, thou art a manager –NOW LEAD! But you have NO CLUE WHAT THAT MEANS or what you’re to do differently? There could be all kinds of reasons you’re out of position:
Your personality doesn’t align with the requirements of the role – i.e. say the position needs someone who is commanding, one who is able to change easily and move quickly. However, you’re a process person and like large amounts of details to then check, double check, and even triple check before you make a move. If so, then you’ll be frustrated in this role, along with making everyone around you frustrated.
Talents – say you’re very gifted with high amounts of creativity, but you don’t have an outlet to use it . . .
Your education didn’t support this role, and you’ve been struggling to try to make it work, but no matter how hard you try, you feel like you’re always behind.
The experiences you’ve had didn’t prepare you for this role, and your interests don’t align either
This doesn’t mean you’re bad or wrong, it just means that this role/position is not a natural fit for you. You can still stretch yourself and take on the role. However, be aware that it will take considerably more effort, energy, and possible skill sets you don’t now have to fulfill. Not to mention you may not enjoy it. Another way you’ll know you’re not in the best role for you when required to be THE leader, is if:
Setting the big-picture vision isn’t natural for you, and instead is difficult!
Directing people – such as: Providing them with the instructions as to what to do, which may be impossible for you to do – due to your personality style. For some personality styles, and I know it’s hard for some of us to fathom, this would mean confrontation to them.
Correcting and leading people is difficult and/or frustrating for you, so you’ll avoid it like the plague!
If these sentences resonate with you, then you’ve got another clue that you are an “Accidental Leader”. If so, then one solution for you is to acquire a Business Coach to assist you to discern why you may be discontent, ineffective, and possibly even miserable in the position you’re currently in. If you do, then you’ll receive the assistance to be successful!
On a positive note, I’ve had the most amazing opportunity to pursue what I’ve loved, and what fits me, for the past 35 years. Because of my supportive husband, I was given the gift of creating and designing a career that I thrive in, am passionate about, and which gives me the ability to continually grow with and into. My life mission emerged from one class here and an experience there. As a result, along with my personality, certifications, and education over the years, it has slowly emerged, until one day I realized I was The epitome of an “Accidental Leader”. I didn’t begin with the end in mind, as Covey recommends. I didn’t set out to be a “Business Coach”, that didn’t exist when I went to college. And I didn’t set out to pursue being a leader or trainer, however I was strategic about each small thing I pursued, until it cumulatively transpired into this awesome role called a Business Coach, Executive Coach and Corporate Trainer. Like a puzzle that emerges from the similar colors, shapes, and connectivity of its’ pieces, I now help others to be strategically excellent, by making sure their life and work aren’t built upon accidents, but on the best of what they bring to this world, aligning themselves with the people they’re suppose to connect with and serve.
What Leaders must DO – The Behaviors They Need to Exhibit for greater leadership influence.
Do you know what they are? Better yet, do you exhibit them yourself? Write next to each word/phrase giving yourself a 1-10, 10 being best on how you’re doing. Then let others in your company do the same, ON YOU that is! Hummm . . . who will take me up on this intimidating, but revealing activity?
Leadership has been aspired to, examined, torn apart, written up in every literary form to man, but when you have to determine if your management team is exhibiting the needed behaviors to lead your business to greatness, where do you begin? As well, how do assess and determine if your training has been effective in this area? You need some kind of comprehensive list to go by. Steve has synthesized and melded the work of others to come up with this list, and I think it’s a great conglomeration of “actions most needed for superior leadership competencies”, therefore providing a mirror to hold up, whether it be for yourself, or with your team leaders. When it gets right down to it, you build collaboration, team work, and influence according to what you do, not by what you say you do. As an Executive Coach, I would love to dig even deeper. Assess what will make you better, and then hold you accountable, but it’s a post. So take it as deep as you can – then when you need assistance implementing, call me, so we can talk about creating a strategic leadership plan specifically designed for YOU and YOUR SUCCESS! We all need one you know.
So what do you think, do you disagree, or have something to add? Leave a comment even if it may be controversial.
This list is taken from Steve Arneson – of the Leadership Examiner
1. Being a Role Model for Integrity and Ethics
2. Demonstrating Optimism and Positive Energy
3. Learning the Business
4. Establishing a Vision and Mission
5. Setting Strategy and Priorities
6. Hiring Great Talent
7. Creating a Culture of Customer Focus
8. Building High Performance Teams
9. Motivating and Inspiring Others
10. Delegating and Empowering
13. Driving for Results
14. Managing and Evaluating Performance
15. Coaching and Developing Talent
16. Managing Complexity and Ambiguity
17. Managing Your Time
18. Evaluating Risk
19. Resolving Conflict
20. Driving Innovation
21. Influencing Others
22. Collaborating Across the Organization
23. Demonstrating Passion for Your Work
24. Being a Champion for Work/Life Balance
25. Keeping Things in Perspective (Humility and Gratitude)
So, who’s your hero? Who do you know that exhibits more that is on this list than anyone else you know? If you could work on one thing, you’d like to add to your leadership list, what would it be? Now go to Marshall Goldsmith’s Library and learn the “Feed Forward” activity, and go to 3 people you know and trust wants your best for your life, and follow his instructions. You’ll be glad you did!
Here’s to you, and your leadership development!
Sue The “Accidental Leader“
Taking the Accident Out of Your Leadership and Your Life and Instead Helping You Make it Intentionally EXCELLENT!
Save Yourself a Lot of Headaches, by Putting the Correct Foundations in Place!
The next best practice for managing managers is:
Know them. Find out what keeps them with you and your company, and in this position, as well as what would cause them to want to leave.
Regularly take time with them. The best way is to have a weekly meeting to keep your pulse on what’s going on with them, and to discover who’s doing what.
Take the time to find out what motivates them, looking for ways to communicate special thanks and encouragement. Give them a short survey and include a list of items they can choose from. i.e.
Gift card to ________________
A spa treatment
What’s their favorite candy or drink
Do they like public praise, or would they prefer a sincere note of thanks.
Tickets to a ball game
Then when you notice exceptional behavior, remember to reward them with one of the items they chose. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. Also, you’re modeling how to treat their employees. This is influencing up! Just go into any Starbucks and watch the level of confidence their employees display.
“I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.” asserted John D. Rockefeller
The next important leadership item is the performance review. I admire the Starbucks standards and systems. With two grown children who have been shift managers with an accumulated 14yrs of experience with Starbucks, I have had a rare opportunity to study them from the inside. They are a model organization regarding encouraging their employees and managers to “feel” like company partners. I interviewed our city’s District Managers a few years ago, and they described a practice I have implemented with every company I consulted with since. They not only have exception training with high standards, and detailed manuals for everything, but they do what is called “Skip Level Performance Reviews.” For instance, they will skip the store manager and interview the shift managers (who are directly under the Store Managers) in order to ascertain just how well the Store Managers are fulfilling their responsibilities, and how they are being treated by the Store Manager. This kind of accountability keeps the Store Managers on their toes. Then the Store Manager will skip the shifts and speak with the employees about the Shift Manager. This also gives one the opportunity to learn if the employees are thriving or struggling under this manager. If you wait for them to come to you, it’s probably already out of hand, and will need time and intervention, which costs money. If you do discover there is a problem, corroborate the truth of it by interviewing the other employees to discern if this is an isolated case between the manager and employee, or if it is necessary to either correct the manager, or possibly provide more training. Either way, take care of it, or it will grow exponentially and sabotage the culture of the office, and you will loose credibility and influence. The Starbucks system of performance reviews works ingeniously, measuring how well they are fulfilling the expectations of being a manager! As well, if the managers are responsible for certain levels of sales, the numbers never lie. As well, how they’re creating raving fans can be measured by providing customer surveys. Feedback, feedback, feedback provides concrete evidence! With the right systems in place, you’ll be able to keep the pulse of a place, knowing when you need to provide extra training and possibly need take a more hands on approach for a time. Whether you have one or many employees, with the Starbucks systems in place, a company can run efficiently with scheduled, regular performance reviews.
BOOKS TO HELP YOU:
“Developing the Leader Within You” Dr. John C. Maxwell
“Developing the Leaders Around You” Dr. John C. Maxwell
“Love “Em or Lose “Em” by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans
The Key Benefits of Enlisting a Business Coach
The other day I was meeting with a woman who asked me, “Sue I know what a Life Coach does, but I don’t know the purpose of an Executive/Business Coach?” Well, it’s not counseling, and it’s not consulting, although I shift into this mode frequently. The best way I can describe it is for you to think of a coach of an Olympic Athlete. Now, that elicits exactly what we do, but for a business leader. We are your greatest supporter, your cheerleader, and a bit of a velvet brick. Our purpose is to ensure you become successful:
- To challenge, develop, and assist you in improving your leadership skills.
- Uncover and develop your unique leadership style.
- Provide essential feedback regarding gaps in your skills and abilities. Discovering feedback in a safe, private environment.
- Reveal so you can abort any self-sabotaging ways which would jeopardize your leadership and your job.
- Expedite the improvement of your time management and organizational skills.
- Help you to develop greater abilities in making appropriate, time bound decisions.
- Establish concrete goals for change and progress.
- Someone to hold you ACCOUNTABLE to do the things you know you need to do, to become the leader you aspire to be.
- A uniquely rich development opportunity to truly discover all you were meant to be.
- Have a non-partisan, non judgmental, objective third party who is an impartial sounding board.
- Assistance to execute key business initiatives.
- Help in balancing work and life priorities.
- Cultivate exceptional ability to influence those you lead.
- Development of your unique personal mission, vision, and values.
- Reduce turnover while building loyalty and retention.
- Successfully navigate the white waters of conflict.
- Enhance and fine-tune your decision making skills, learning to appropriately evaluate business risks, while navigating any politically entrenched environment.
- Inspire peak performance in employees by employing fresh leadership insights.
Contact Sue right now, with the e-mail below, to set up a complimentary Discovery Session to explore if Executive Coaching is right for you right now. Sue will be doing the same, discerning if you’re a good fit, as a client, for her. If all is compatible, we then co-create a plan that works specifically for you, and your specific needs. Contact Sue at AccidentalLeader@comcast.net for more information, and to set up our Discovery Session.
What Great Managers Do With their Employees, To Add Value to Their Company
Here’s where the rubber meets the road in successful businesses where people feel valued for their contributions! Managing people is all about developing other people to bring out their unique:
- knowledge, and education
to meet the needs of their position at work. Great managers develop and release their employees by assisting them through training, coaching, directing, supporting, encouraging, and delegating. Lee Iaccoca managed to lift Chrysler Motors back from varying challenging issues including labor disputes and bankruptcy. Through it all he managed to maintain his value of “succeeding at the people level”. What this meant was that he insisted, and I quote: “In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words,
“PEOPLE – PRODUCT & PROFITS.
PEOPLE come first.”
If fact one of my very favorite quotes states that to be a superb leader, or manager:
“You need to develop the skill of:
MAKING OTHER PEOPLE FEEL IMPORTANT.”
Dr. John C. Maxwell
“No man will make a great leader who wants to
do it ALL himself,
or to get the credit for doing it!”
Again, management isn’t about you. It’s about what you can do with and through others to build and develop them, while simultaneously meeting the mission, vision, and strategic plan of the company. J. Paul Getty, the wealthy oil mogul, when asked what was the most important quality of a successful executive replied:
“It doesn’t make much difference how much other knowledge
or experience an executive possesses. If he is unable to achieve results
through people, he is worthless as an executive!”
Are you hearing a similar theme? As a leader, it’s about extracting from your people, their very best on behalf of the company, in ways that honor, value, and build them. You get to make a difference in someone else’s life. Because of you, they can gain a new skill, learn a new competency, or even be directed toward their dream position and ultimately live a fulfilling work life. You have the opportunity to “be” the difference in each and every employee who calls you their boss. So, it’s important that you get the right perspective on your position, and learn what great leaders/managers say and do to create great employees. A great leader says, as they work with their employees, “How can I make those around me more successful?” In fact, one of the very best questions you can ask yourself to evaluate why you are a leader, to discern what your motive is in carrying the title leader/manager/supervisor while you support, coach, direct, and lead the people under you is:
“Am I building people?
Or, am I building my dream
and using people to do it.”
Fred Smith of Federal Express
This question goes to the heart of why you are in this role, what your motivation is. In fact, when you correctly understand what your “Job Description” is, you will begin to understand that everyone you work with is hungry. Yes, that’s right. They’re hungry to be understood, to feel worthwhile, important, and ultimately in their own way, to be recognized as valuable . . . valuable to you and to the organization you both work for. And you know you’ve reached this level of leadership when instead of feeling like you’re going to throw-up when you’re reading or hearing something like this, that speaks to the soft side of business, – like I myself use to feel; instead, hearing this now resonates with you, motivating you to work toward finding out how you can genuinely meet the unspoken needs of those who are a part of your tribe, who call you boss.
What Do You Do When You Hit The Wall When Looking For Great Things To Write About? Leadership Tries New Things.
Here’s a Fun Way to Break Writers Block
Do you write blog posts, articles, deliver speeches or even have to come up with content for a manual or book? Well, if you do any of these on a consistent basis, I’ll bet like me, you get that annoying infection called “writers block”? So, I’ve got just the tip for you today. If you can discover a few key words, with personality, for your target market, scope out a noun or two, some verbs and a few creative adjectives that tickle your fancy. However, what do you do when you don’t quite know how to put them together? I’ve got just the tool, a free internet site for you! It’s called http://www.rackandwrite.com . All you need to do is plug these few choice words into the lines they provide, and magically it will pull out of the blue, as many as 200 titles from which to choose from. Change around and add different words, and you’ll get another huge set of suggested titles. Not only do you obtain great suggestions and ideas, it’s just plain fun to do. And it will help you write great content, to build better influence as a leader in your industry! There’s got to be a game in this, there’s just got to be. I never thought that looking for subjects to be able to create great material, could be so much fun. Try it out, then write a review of “rackandwrite” below in the comments suggestion. I dare you to come up some fun, fabulous, outrageous title for your favorite genre! You’ll never again be at a loss for what to write.
The reason this month is dedicated to all you “Overcomers” is because I know what it’s like to live with challenges. I needed ways to engender encouragement and motivation to keep myself strengthened and filled with faith and hope. You see, thirty five years ago I was in a serious head-on car accident in which I broke my back and tore up most of my insides. I know what it’s like to have to work on not only my attitude, but requiring my body cooperate. I also was the main caretaker of my parents while they were in assisted living for 5 yrs, slowly, painfully declining, while keeping my business going. You may not relate exactly to these, but I bet you face challenges of your own? If so, here are some of tricks and strategies you too can implement for encouragement and help:
1. First of all, the worse I feel – the better I look! Pull it together and make yourself look good! Your outfit, and if you’re a woman, your hair and makeup. Trick yourself, and everyone else by “cleaning up well”
2. Next, find others worse off than yourself. Then pray for them and their needs, taking the focus off yourself
3. Still in bad shape? Then go the extra mile and call to check in with them. Yep, don’t wallow in how you feel, mentally or physically. Just get off you duff, think of others, and take action by showing and really caring. Believe me, when you get off the phone, there’s no way you’ll be caught whining or complaining to yourself (or anyone else, for that matter)! What some live with is insurmountable, unbelievable circumstances. In fact, I have one friend that the only way she gets relief from pain is to go into the hospital where they put her out for a couple days, so she can get some sleep and relief. Bless her heart! Still praying for you Andrea!
4. Finally, and most importantly, fill your mind with positive, life giving stories, testimonials, and clips of others who are “overcomers”, who have succeeded despite horrible, challenging, unbelievable circumstances! Read about those not much different than you, but who stuck it out until they made it
5. Find some heroes.
* Research and study great leaders and business owners, and you’ll discover you will find heroes in your midst.
* You’ll find ones that have preceded you, and made it possible for you to believe, “Well, if they can do it, surely I can as well!”
* Then keep mementoes of them around your office. Something that serves to remind you, or warn you, a souvenir of some sort. It will lift your “I can do it!” belief, especially when you’re down. And believe me, we all fall into the “doom and gloom” pit or despair or worry, and need encouragement along the way! I know I sure do.
Honestly, I believe that massive success is first and foremost one huge game, “MIND GAME” that is. Success is a mind game that you have to learn, and then strategically win through intentional purpose, plans and diligence. And there is so much help and assistance out there for this. The amount of books, CD’s, videos, blogs, and articles on this topic will keep you well equipped for generations to come. Here are a few:
- Unstoppable: 45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph from People Just Like You by Cynthia Kersey
- Talking With Giants! Powerful Leaders Share Life Lessons by Scott Schilling
- http://www.tremendouslifebooks.com/ a slew of motivational leadership books
- http://www.persistenceunlimited.com/2007/07/the-top-50-blogs-that-will-unleash-your-motivation/ Top 50 motivational blogs!
March is Dedicated to “Over-comers!” Those Who Won’t Be Held Down! (It’s Been 35 Years Since My Head On Car Accident) If I Can Do the Things That I Do, Then I’m Here to Say, You Can Reach Your Goals and Not Be Held Back Either!
I don’t know a business owner that doesn’t have their fair share of difficulties, whether it’s keeping good employees, paying the bills, or finding and keeping faithful, hardworking leadership, or struggles at home. And yet, there are some challenges that over the years escalate into mountains you either have to bore a tunnel through, or you need to be massively equipped to go over. The difference between those that “make it” and those that allow their mountains of challenge to over-take them is what I call “Emotional Fortitude”. Emotional fortitude is the ability to handle anything emotionally, good or bad, and not let it uncap an explosion of emotions, and/or high blood pressure. Everyone also has a “Set Back Factor”, your “SBF”. This is the point in any challenge where you start to allow the challenges to dictate your day, good or bad. If your “SBF” is low, everything that happens to you, creates you. If your “SBF” is high, then no matter what happens you stay in control of your emotions, not allowing them to dictate your feelings or your emotions. You dictate them instead, by a strategic plan. This plan may now need re-engineering, but you still stick to the plan. Now, if you have a low “Emotional Fortitude”, then everything that happens to you and/or your business elicits strong emotions which you therefore react. Instead, the goal is that you learn to dictate and stay in control of your emotions, and feelings. And because your faith vision is not dictated by these unruly characters, emotions and feelings, you can ride the tide of events without flipping out over them. However, when you have a low “Emotional Fortitude”, you become a victim of your circumstances. However, if during your trials, struggles and challenges you keep a positive attitude/faith, not allowing yourself to go on a roller coaster of emotions, then you are now living by your “faith index”. And this is the goal: to be a healthy, well adjusted, positive adult business owner or leader who can bend and sway with the currents of trials that appear as tornados but are reduced by your healthy perspective and emotions, into a little bitty wind that everyone learns to live with. Someone with a high “faith index”, has learned to turn their “problems” into opportunities, and turn their challenging opportunities into personal and professional growth. These are the people that do things differently. They’ve learned they can rearrange, change, or engineer their circumstances in a way that works for them, even if at first it doesn’t appear to look like this. They have learned, through experience, that they can amalgamate anything into something that works for them, given enough time, and the right attitude and perspective. If your Emotional Fortitude is low, this means that when things go awry, so does the way you treat people, your employees and your family. If your “Setback Factor” is low then everything that happens to you either holds you captive or sets you back from forward progress. You can tell if you’re working with someone with a high “Emotional Fortitude” . . . and a high “Setback Factor” they exude confidence, confidence in themselves, their business, and their employees. They are someone you like being around because they are always positive, don’t whine, and give you the feeling you can make it as well. And, you can learn to be this kind of leader, or business owner. We will continue this topic on the next article.